MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - More than 70 percent of Air France's flights to Russia were canceled on Thursday because of a strike by its pilots, the airline stated on its website.
"Due to the call for strike action by several pilot unions, from September 15 to 22, our flight schedule operated by Air France is disrupted as of Monday, September 15, 2014," the company said in a statement.
Out of 16 flights to Moscow, only five will be carried out. One flight to St. Petersburg was also canceled. Overall, Air France plans to operate 42 percent of its flights on Thursday, company spokeswoman Catherine Jude told journalists Wednesday.
The strike, which is expected to last for a week, began Monday as the airline's staff was opposed to a proposed guidance plan to optimize the company's costs because of the fear of losing their jobs or part of their income. Air France has responded to customers, offering them refunds or a change of their tickets" departure dates. To passengers stuck at airports, the company is providing hotel accommodation, meals and, in some cases, compensation payments.
According to company estimates, the strike may cost the airline between 12.9 million dollars and 19.4 million dollars a day, depending on how many pilots participate.